Charters School Approvals Impacting Authorizer Decisions in the Central Valley

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October 13, 2011 The Visalia Unified School District approved the the Sycamore Valley Charter Academy petition at their meeting Tuesday in a 6-1 vote. Visalia Unified officials stated that the petition met all the requirements and if they did not approve the proposal, it would likely be approved by the Tulare County Office of Education (Tulare COE). Visalia Unified has denied two charter petitions in the past year including Valley Life Charter School which was eventually approved by the Tulare COE on the traditional appeal process when a school is denied by a district authorizer.

Sycamore Valley Charter Academy will open in August 2012 and will be located on a Visalia Unified site which has not been determined. The school will be K-8 elementary school that would focus on accelerated learning and would group students on learning ability rather than age. There were many comments from the board members both positive and negative but we all know that the quality and performance of the school is always dependent on the qualification and quality of the individuals creating the school and running it on a day to day basis. Valley Life Charter School opened its doors this year with more students than projected which confirms that communities want increased choice when it comes to the education of their children. Congratulations to both schools!

John Madrid
Regional Director